I just started writing this and it will evolve into a short story I hope…
So as humans quickly ate up all of Earth’s resources we started aiming towards the stars. It was not this big uniting of the earth’s different races and peace reigned on Earth. It was savage and Geo-political and a race for more resources to live and survive. We started by colonizing the moon, Mars, the Red Planet our goal and the ultimate prize, it was simply a testing ground to make sure we could build a sustainable habitat.
So, humans went back to the caves. We found caves and looked for ice under the crust of the Galilean moons so short a distance away. It wasn’t romantic nor did we stop when one group failed. We tried over and over throwing resources that were dwindling at rockets and crafts to the moon to build habitats on the bones of the dead, and sometimes striking out anew to find ice for hydrocarbon and convert it into oxygen. Droves of people died in these endeavors, dare I say millions?
We started sending our best scientists at first, then devolved into sending the worst of humanity to build the habitats for those scientists left that would come. It wasn’t a love story, or inspiring and no one believed we’d ever succeed. But on April 19, 2052 we succeeded in our mission to the red planet. We achieved upon the backs of 2,984 failed missions to get a workable habitat up and working. Then began to spread below the surface of the planet. Above we covered the planet in solar panels and began the task of turning Martian soil into something that could grow crops for food fit for humans or at least fit enough for the first animals’ humans could eat.
I could tell you about those failed missions and how humanity had changed when reaching the stars, but it would be a lie. We took with us our religion, our bigotry, all the things we fought about on Earth, we fed to the stars. Terrorism on a scale we had never seen before, whole colonies lost to hate and ignorance. We were expanding to the stars, but our minds were not evolving.
The fact that we had at first sent out the best, our brightest and they had died, meant a new strategy had to come about. We used “Specialists”, we segmented our knowledge and taught critical pieces of information to 3 specialists so if two died at least 1 could make it to help build and maintain a critical system in the colonies we built. These specialists went through vigorous psychological screening and the few who got through the program were not inspired or awed by what they were about to do. This could be a death sentence, they had to be prepared for that, so they often had such a bleak outlook on life, space was the only place for them after the screening process.
On Earth, money, power, acclaim, all these motivators were what fed humanity, but in space? What use money, power or acclaim? What use other than survival and struggle to live on a barren expanse that had none of the past beauty of Earth? Earth ravaged by below/solar storms had also devolved into a cave-like existence burrowing into the earth, living underground the only thing keeping people from dying from vicious solar storms despite living below. Air the most precious commodity on earth worth more than gold. The survivors staying behind on Earth were an amalgamation of the poorest masses. Their only means of escape being the lotteries and the “Specialist Training”.
Terra-forming. It was the grandest goal of Earth to recreate a planet we destroyed and ravaged with our race for resources. Why recreate paradise? Humanity had come to live in caves so long that once we successfully terra-formed Europa, one of Jupiter’s ice-covered moons, few left the caves to go outside, so scared of open spaces were these new generations of humans that the surface remained a paradise until generations later children of humanity finally left the caves. It was like the book “Lord of the Flies” where children ran camps and fed off the land until they matured and turned into nomadic tribes of people. It was again a de-evolution of humanity. People watched from the caves and saw as humanity went through all the stages of evolution, they had on Earth again. But were they doomed to re-live the sins of their past? Would these new colonists look out towards the stars with the resounding knowledge of where we came from and what our hubris cost us?
What would space cost us? Would there be whole planets owned entirely by corporate entities with their own laws and justice systems? Would countries own planets and their beliefs and laws apply? What would this new future this new utopia look like and could someone not from that time even understand it’s intricacies?
Where in space is there room for god?